Fleadh down in Ennis breaks records across the board

Fleadh down in Ennis breaks records across the board

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The crowds gathered at day one of the Fleadh. Pic: Eamon Ward
The crowds gathered at day one of the Fleadh. Pic: Eamon Ward

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2016 has been hailed as an outstanding success in advancing the vision and aspirations of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann nationally and locally.

Record numbers of young people attended masterclasses at Scoil Éigse, concert audiences broke all records, numbers of competitors were up due to increased entries from overseas including two Japanese Céilí Bands and Fleadh TV broadcast 12 hours of lively invigorating television.

A variation in trading patterns was evident, with the hospitality sector doing better than retail. The poor weather conditions interrupted the natural flow of people leading to sporadic bursts of business activity. However, it is expected that retail will benefit in the coming weeks from the trickledown effect of the overall increase. Research to be undertaken by Fáilte Ireland will provide more detail on the Fleadh’s benefit to the town and county.

“Shannon Airport is proud to have been associated with this year’s Fleadh which is not only a celebration of the best of traditional Irish music, song and dance, but also of community spirit and teamwork. The Trojan work of the green army of volunteers and the wonderful talent showcased throughout the competition and relayed around the world on TV and social media sites, has generated a whole new legion of Fleadh fans and left a lasting legacy of which the Fleadh organisers can be immensely proud. Our heartfelt congratulations to all involved in staging this hugely successful event” Mary Considine, Company Secretary, Shannon Group commented.

Businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors offered well-staffed service and the success of the Fleadh can also be attributed to the efficient and friendly welcome extended by their teams. The Volunteers, organised by Clare Volunteer Centre; Clare Co Council, Civil Defence, Fire Service, the Gardaí and other agencies made the Fleadh an exceptionally safe and positive experience for everyone.

Hundreds of thousands of people interacted with Fleadh Cheoil through the virtual world of social media. During the first 7 days of the Fleadh almost 1.3 million people were reached through the official Facebook page, with just under 590,000 people engaging with the posts. This combined with primetime exposure on mainstream media, including four live, three-hour broadcasts by Fleadh TV, showcasing Ennis and Co. Clare, ensures a lasting legacy that will benefit tourism.

“We now look forward with great optimism to next year when Fleadh Cheoil ha hÉireann will be held again in Ennis from 13th – 21st August,” said Micheál Ó Riabhaigh, Chairman of the Ennis Fleadh Executive Committee. “According to hoteliers, accommodation bookings are already being made. Our various teams worked so hard – often to the point of exhaustion – to manage many complexities of the Fleadh. My advice at this point is to take a break and recharge the batteries. When we regroup in September, statistical data will be available from the various agencies and we can then paint a complete picture of this great national undertaking. We will take all this information into account as we plan for next year to make the 2017 an even more successful event. ” he concluded.

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